DENVER (CBS4) – More patients are sharing their story about treatment at Porter Adventist Hospital as more than 100 patients are suing because of infections they say permanently damaged their bodies.
“Everyday is a battle,” Lusana Kurz told CBS4 on Monday. “I’m still trying to be able to walk again.”
Kurz is one of the many patients working with attorney David Woodruff in a lawsuit against the hospital. She was diagnosed with a hip condition in 2016 and started surgeries performed at the hospital the following year.
Doctors told her they needed to regrow the bone so she could walk again. But she had complications from her first surgery, an infection that needed to be treated with more procedures. Kurz did not learn about the issues at Porter until news reports and a letter sent to her advising testing for separate possible infections.
“I really feel saddened that there were so many people affected by this,” she said. “It’s important for me to be a part of the lawsuit to bring accountability to Porter.”
Woodruff says the focus of the lawsuit is on administrators for not making sure their equipment was sterile at all times. Surgeons were not at fault, according to the attorney. He says he represents many other clients with stories similar to Kurz.
She is still recovering from the issues that started at Porter. Her condition got much worse and she is still working with doctors to get better. He also points out that all of his clients are now facing medical issues they will have to treat for the rest of their lives.
“They developed an infection by having a surgery that should have been safe,” he said. “My biggest hope is that this doesn’t ever happen again.”
The hospital responded to CBS4’s request for comment in a statement explaining it is working with the health department.
“To protect the privacy of all involved, we will be addressing this matter through the legal process which is underway,” the statement said. “Porter Adventist Hospital continues to meet the sterilization process guidelines of the department.”
Kurz is the mother of five children and says the impact on her infection was hard on the entire family. She knows other families faced similar challenges, unable to go on with their lives because of the infections.
“My kids have had to really step up and just take on responsibilities to help me out because most days you’re really just trying not to move.”
Woodruff says he could not say the amount of money they will ask for the lawsuit, but did explain that the medical expenses for so many patients will likely reach tens of millions of dollars.
“This is the only body I have, has to carry me through my life.”
Porter Adventist Hospital released this statement Monday afternoon:
“We acknowledge the concern of these patients and are aware of existing lawsuits stemming from a review by CDPHE of the pre-cleaning process of surgical instruments prior to sterilization which was identified in February 2018. To protect the privacy all involved, we will be addressing this matter through the legal process which is underway. As an outcome of the CDPHE investigation, we continue to provide reports to CDPHE that confirm Porter Adventist Hospital continues to meet the sterilization process guidelines of CDPHE.”
Attorney David Woodruff’s practice can be found online at denvertriallawyers.com/medical-malpractice/.